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Old 10-31-2010, 07:45 AM   #1 
IshFish
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Betta cannot swim, doesn't eat, fading color, etc.

Housing
What size is your tank? 2 gallons
What temperature is your tank? 76-78 degrees
Does your tank have a filter? No
Does your tank have an air stone or other type of aeration? No
Is your tank heated? Yes
What tank mates does your betta fish live with? No mates, only live plants, stones, and a little house.

Food
What type of food do you feed your betta fish? Freeze dried bloodworms How often do you feed your betta fish? Once a day

Maintenance
How often do you perform a water change? Once per week
What percentage of the water do you change when you perform a water change? About 80%
What type of additives do you add to the water when you perform a water change? I use bottled water and add mineral drops.


Water Parameters:
Have you tested your water? If so, what are the following parameters?

Ammonia:
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:
Hardness:
Alkalinity:

Symptoms and Treatment
How has your betta fish's appearance changed? Fading color
How has your betta fish's behavior changed? At this point he cannot swim, has zero interest in food, labored breathing at times, doesn't try to get to top for air, hasn't pooped in a long time. (Although he's doesn't appear to be bloated)
When did you start noticing the symptoms? He started showing signs of change a few weeks ago.
Have you started treating your fish? If so, how? Changing water and lowering the level. Tried giving him peas but he shows no interest whatsoever.
Does your fish have any history of being ill? No
How old is your fish (approximately)? Not sure. I've had him for almost a year.






So several weeks ago I noticed my betta just hanging out in his plants all day. I know this isn't unusual for bettas but until that point he would happily swim around during the day. I went online and read that he could just be cold. I went out and bought a thermometer and his water was a frigid 70 degrees. (This was around the beginning of fall so it makes since that his water temp. was lower than it had been) Anyways, I went out and bought a heater and a 2 gallon bowl. (He was in a 1 gallon but the heater's suggested use was at least a 2 gallon bowl) I set him all up and as the water temp. went up, so did he. Back to his normal happy self.

Then I started noticing his swimming. He was having trouble staying at the top and would basically lay around (usually in his plants) until his mad dash for air, then just float back down. I also noticed he hadn't been pooping like he normally did. I went online and discovered it was probably swim bladder from this site..
http://www.petfish.net/articles/Bett...dder_betta.php
It sounded like constipation was the culprit being that his staple diet was blood worms, although his belly didn't (and still doesn't) appear to be bloated. I tried offering peas to no avail. I stopped offering food for a few days but he stayed the same. And he has been getting progressively worse.

Now he cannot swim to the top (or anywhere) at all. He just lays on the bottom of his bowl. Sometimes it looks like he's trying to swim but his body just won't move. His color is fading and he has zero interest in any kind of food. It's like he's completely given up on life. He's basically just withering away.

I've read stories of other fish having (around) the same symptoms and dieing within a week or so. It's been a couple weeks now and he's still around. He hasn't eaten, doesn't come up for air (even though his water is low now), nothing. I don't get it. Any ideas?

Last edited by IshFish; 10-31-2010 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:49 AM   #2 
Fawnleaf
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I would do a water change, heat his water to 80 degrees F, add some aquarium salt and feed him a pea, if he will take it. I know the pea feeding has been controversial and I am not sure if it is recommended, as I have never had to feed them to my bettas. If someone does not recomend them, PLEASE correct me, but I think everything else I said is true. Hope he gets better. :/
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Old 10-31-2010, 10:45 AM   #3 
Oldfishlady
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I would start an Epsom salt treatment (not aquarium salt)

QT in his 1gal bowl filled half full-cover the top with plastic veggie wrap and start making 100% daily water changes with Epsom salt 1tsp/gal for the next 10 days-hold food for the first 3 days of treatment and then offer half feeding of something other than the freeze dried food-live mosquito larva would be great or frozen food-if he eat offer food small amount twice a day every other day during treatment
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:09 PM   #4 
Adastra
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I agree with OFL's advice. Freeze-dried food can cause some really bad constipation related bloating and swim bladder disorder. His problems are mostly due to his diet, but I also don't think you're changing the water enough. I think once he shows improvement, you should bump up your normal water changes to 100% every 3-4 days instead of once a week and consider using tap water + dechlorinator, since it will save you money.

The pea treatment is fine, but there are other foods that work better and provide your fish with nutrition at the same time. Frozen brine shrimp and frozen daphnia both contain a lot of fiber and because they aren't plant matter, the fish can digest them more easily than a pea.

You should definitely switch to a high quality pellet food and ditch the freeze-dried stuff. I recommend OmegaOne betta buffet pellets, Atison's betta pellets, Ken's Betta Crumbles, and New Life Spectrum. It's a good idea to use multiple pellet brands along with frozen foods because one single pellet cannot give your fish complete nutrition. It's also a good idea to pre-soak any dry food you give to your betta so that it does not swell with moisture in the fish's gut--which is part of what causes such bad bloating and constipation.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:24 PM   #5 
IshFish
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Thanks for the replies.

So I did another complete water change with the aquarium salt. (That's what they had at petco.) Unfortunately, I can't adjust the temp. on the heater so it'll have to remain where it's at. Usually it's around 78 degrees.

I'll look for those pellet brands and get him some frozen food. I think I saw brine shrimp or something like that. Good to know about soaking the pellets first..I'll be sure to do that.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:32 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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You can get Epsom salt at most stores that has a pharmacy dept-it cost under 5 dollars and can be used for many things other than treatment for fish.

Epsom salt is a better choice for treatment with the symptoms you posted
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:54 PM   #7 
IshFish
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Looked up epsom salt and I see it's good for constipation issues. Will get some tomorrow.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:16 PM   #8 
Oldfishlady
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It also helps with edema/swelling issues that can be seen with swim bladder issues-it also has a mild antibacterial/fungal effect..plus it is plant safe.....however, caution still needs to be taken with salt in-tolerant species.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:45 AM   #9 
IshFish
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Well today will mark his 4th day of treatment. I'm giving him 100% water changes with epsom everyday. I think his color looks pretty normal at this point. He still isn't trying to swim for air but is definitely more active. Not that active, but certainly more than before the treatment. I tried offering him peas the other day and pellets today but he wasn't interested in either.

Do you think 1tsp. per gallon is enough of the salt or should I add more? I'm basically doing a heaping tsp.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:57 AM   #10 
IshFish
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Oh, and I haven't noticed any poop. Should I take the pebbles out of his bowl for now to monitor that easier? They're a natural brown color so poop may blend in.
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